Polish artist Mateusz Sarzynski’s paintings are dark, occasionally political, and deeply ironic. Mostly self-taught, he takes inspiration from current events or video games, they are violent reflections on capitalism and today’s media. He is also a practicing tattoo artist, designs which are definitely worth checking out too — at the links below!
Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I was born in a small city, eastern Poland. Since 2009 I live and work in Cracow. I got my masters degree in architecture in 2014 and now I am supposed to finish my mfa studies at academy of fine arts in Krakow. I am studying at academy because it offers me acces to the studio in the city center. However, I am learning only little there. I’m learning mostly everything by myself.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
I have been doing it since I can remember. When I was younger I was drawing a lot. I remember that I got seriously into painting when I started studying architecture. At one point I realized that I find it way more interesting reading about painters than about architects.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
I paint for fun, I mean, it really makes me feel better. Even if I feel that my works are not going in any direction I still feel better overall. My practice is changing constantly because I am getting bored with one subject very quickly. Recently I got into computer games motifs, but now I feel I am not interested in it anymore. I started tattooing some time ago, and I am trying to treat it the same way I treat painting.
What is your process like?
I paint directly on canvas without any sketches. Mostly I only do sketches in my mind, for example when I use public transport. I like to constantly repaint my older paintings to create new ones. I paint rather fast, I like to finish a canvas during one day. In my work I try to balance between seriusness and irony. Also I like to have fun while painting. Even if the topic is serious I always try to have a good time working on it. I sometimes make references to the painters that I like because it’s also fun.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
The only advice I stick to is to work constantly. I really believe it’s all in the hard work.
What is your studio like?
My studio is really small. Actually I dont have a proper one. I paint in spaces that I am allowed to. Mostly I paint in a place provided by academia, but it’s really small and I am not allowed to use acrylic spray there because some professors are allergic to that. I would love to have a proper studio one day.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
I simply do not think about it. I do art because I started painting some time ago and just cant stop it. It’s so addicting I can’t put it down. Sometimes money is a frustrating factor, because it seems like painting is super cheap but doing it on a daily basis require a lot of money.
What are three words you would use to describe your work?
Simple, honest and maybe naive.
What are you working on right now?
Daily routine, painting, drawing, tattoo. However, recently I was granted a residence in New York City. I plan to go there around October. I would love to paint something there and studio visit some painters, that I know from the internet.
Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you 🙂
Find more on Instagram @mateusz_sarzynski!